Falkirk piper Robbie’s invention bags top prize and £2000 for his school

Strathallan School student Robbie MacIsaac has invented a method of eliminating moisture from bagpipes
Strathallan School student Robbie MacIsaac has invented a method of eliminating moisture from bagpipes

An award-winning student from Falkirk has invented a method of eliminating moisture from bagpipes and is now looking to market his design.

Seventeen-year-old Robbie MacIssac’s innovative Flux Blowpipe won this year’s Technology, Design and Innovation Challenge, run by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

The former Falkirk High School pupil – who won a scholarship to Strathallan School – is a keen piper himself, so he has a vested interest in the invention.

The sixth year Strathallan student said: “I worked really hard on the design of the blowpipe, which came about from a natural desire to solve a problem I was dealing with on a daily basis.

“I’m a really keen bagpiper, and the product, which I had printed in 3D, works perfectly as a solution to moisture build-up.

“The sound is exactly the same – so I’m really happy with it and absolutely delighted to win the final of the TDI Challenge. To be up against such strong competition from schools across the UK was a fantastic experience, and to take the title is just incredible.”

Robbie, who earned £2000 for his school with his victory, has now had the product patented and is looking get it manufactured as soon as possible.

He said: “The world of innovation and design is incredibly exciting right now – it’s changing all the time. Solving problems and coming up with viable solutions is something I’ve really enjoyed in my time at Strathallan, and it’s great to meet people in the industry who are really driving things forward.

“I hope to now get my product manufactured, and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

The TDI Challenge took place earlier this month at Yamakazi Mazak’s European headquarters in Worcester after Robbie and hundreds of students from across the UK submitted their GCSE, A-Level or BTEC design and technology course work projects to be judged by a panel of experts from the industry.

The judges said Robbie’s project was “well researched and a great use of materials” and had a large potential market, which Robbie highlighted in his presentation.

Craig Wiles, head of design and technology at Strathallan, said: “I’m totally delighted for Robbie.

“He’s a hard-working pupil, and deserves every success. The product he has created is just fantastic and has brilliant commercial viability.

“He used augmented reality as part of his presentation to the judges, and that was excellent to see. We can’t wait to see how his product will do when it is manufactured. Robbie has a bright future ahead of him, and we look forward to creating more exciting works in the year ahead.”